International Humanist and Ethical Union
UN Human Rights Council, 49th Session (28 February – 1 April 2022)
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism
We warmly welcome Ms Miti Drummond in her new role as Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.
We thank her for the report setting out some of the various causes and manifestations of harmful practices and hate crimes against persons with albinism.
She notes the continuing existence of prevalent beliefs in “dangerous myths and superstitions about persons with albinism.”
We concur; evidence shows that superstitious attitudes have a profound impact in sustaining intolerance of, and discrimination against, people with albinism, and heavily fuel the violence against them. For example, the belief that people with albinism possess magical powers that can bring about evil, or that their body parts can be used in rituals to bring about good fortune, both alienates and makes them a target for brutal attacks and mutilations.
In order to help provide long-term and sustainable protection to people with albinism and address the root causes of the violence they experience, we need to ensure that people challenge the very superstitions, myths and dogmas that underpin the discriminatory attitudes towards them.
Accordingly, in addition to the Independent Expert’s recommendation to “conduct awareness raising and education on harmful practices and hate crimes against persons with albinism,” we emphasize the need for complementary education in developing critical thinking, and would welcome her thoughts on this.
The cruelty, hate, discrimination and violence that people with albinism continue to face is unconscionable; accordingly, we look forward to working with, and supporting, the Special Rapporteur in her important mandate to combat this.
 A/HRC/49/56, 83(f)
'The role of superstition in causing discrimination and hate against persons with albinism', Humanists International